Being a Swan

In stressful situations people often tell you that they are like a Swan, calm and serene on the surface but kicking like crazy under the water. The people who tell you this, often also suggest you should do the same thing. When YOU are in a stressful situation you should present yourself as calm as a cucumber to the world, while underneath you’re freaking out.  

I suppose at a push this is decent advice – if you’re in a catastrophe, at least you’ll not be adding to the chaos. If you can seemingly remain calm that calm may be contagious.  If you can keep your head when all about are losing theirs, you’ll be a Man my son! (Sorry Rudyard, I only required the first and last lines to illustrate my point!)

Maybe what is better advise is to be the opposite of a Swan. Flip the Swan. (Not the same as flipping the bird. Or maybe it is in some cases.)  Do the reverse Swan. (That sounds like something that you might find in the Karma Sutra. I’m not googling it, but if you do tell me what it comes back with!) What I mean is get that calmness inside. Look for that deep, quiet stillness right in the core of yourself and spread it out. 

I find mine in the vicinity of the Heart, that where my calmness likes to kickback. Home is where the heart is. The chaos is normally in my head and guts. They can really run rampant if I let them. They egg each other on as well.  My head especially can be a proper scaremonger. It’s incredible how quickly I can assume someone is dead in a ditch if I haven’t heard from them within an expected time frame.  My guts just join in with squirmy feelings, escalating to sicky feelings then more than just feelings if it continues to pay attention to my head.

I have learnt to catch myself at the start of this game though. I have practiced taking deep breaths and accessing my calm heart. Once the calmness starts radiating outwards the crazy burns away.

 Flipping the Swan doesn’t really mean that you’re calm underneath and kicking like mad on the surface, that doesn’t really work. If you’re calm underneath its very difficult to be anything but calm on the outside. Although even if you feathers are a little ruffled, it’s only on the surface.

You can actually see this all over nature. A trees leaves rustle in the wind, but it takes a lot of the trunk to go. The ocean can be whipped up by storms on the surface, but the deeper you go, the calmer it is. Clouds skitter across the sky (endlessly is sometimes seems here in the UK!) but behind them that beautiful blue remains constant.

Everyone has that calmness within them. It’s a little more buried in some people than in others, it may take a bit of searching for but it is definitely there. I can hold your stuff for you while you find it, just get in touch.

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